Hume's Misconception on Miracles

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Cheeky Monkey
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Re: Hume's Misconception on Miracles

Post by Cheeky Monkey » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:04 am

I agree that Hume's definition of miracles leaves a lot to be desired. I'm hard pressed to come up with a definition that isn't tautological though. I think "miracle" is a subjective layer of meaning we ascribe to an event a la Pulp Fiction. I do however think that Hume's basic idea is a good heuristic for testimony concerning extraordinary events but I'd recast it as a Bayesian Inference.
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Metacrock
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Re: Hume's Misconception on Miracles

Post by Metacrock » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:43 am

Cheeky Monkey wrote:I agree that Hume's definition of miracles leaves a lot to be desired. I'm hard pressed to come up with a definition that isn't tautological though. I think "miracle" is a subjective layer of meaning we ascribe to an event a la Pulp Fiction. I do however think that Hume's basic idea is a good heuristic for testimony concerning extraordinary events but I'd recast it as a Bayesian Inference.
I agree that it's subjective.I think the term connotes a religious dimension to an unexplainable event. If you don't have that dimension then it's just a wired thing, like the lost Dutchman mine or Bigfoot or UFOs. It Bigfoot says "Jesus saves" then it becomes a miracle.

Still, things happen that violate our norms for what is supposed to happen and they suggest some kind of divine activity involved, and unbelievers are in denial about it.

That will always be an epistemological gap in any understanding of reality.
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